Archive for November, 2011

In 1621, after the Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans) had landed at Plymouth Rock and just before initiating the centuries long rape of the Native Americans,  William Bradford who ran the Pilgrim Party Supply store, decided to invite their savage neighbors to a town social and get to know Squanto and the Patuxet people.  So Bradford sent Myles Standish, a mild-mannered dingus with a singing voice of the angels, to deliver a singing telegram to Squanto and his tribe.

Impressed with Standish’s golden pipes, Squanto asked him if he’d be interested in joining his jam band with other tribe members Running Wind and Fog Horn.  However, Myles, suffering from stage fright, quickly brushed off the question and returned to the telegram.  “We’d truly love it if you and your dirty savages would join us for a giant feast in celebration of bringing our two clans together and getting to know one another.”  Squanto, who’s English was limited at best, missed the insult but excepted the invite.

The next day, the Pilgrims and Indians gathered to share their plentiful bounty with each another.  During this feast, Bradford and Squanto engaged in deep conversation.  But what Squanto didn’t realize was that Bradford was employing mind control techniques and hypnosis to steal the Indians secrets about harvesting and eel fishing.  Bradford thought to himself “Stupid redskins!  Soon I will possess the power of the electric eel and it will be me who invents electricity and not that arrogant prick Benjamin Franklin!”

After the celebration, the Patuxet tribe returned to their camp to play some high stakes Hold ‘Em.  Meanwhile, Bradford was in his study, writing down the information he had gleaned from Squanto’s brain scan.  “Now I will be the most powerful man on Plymouth Rock.  Me!  MWHA-HAHAHAHA,” he quietly thought.

Bradford quickly employed a few ex-military types who had sailed with them to the New World and begin to develop electro-charged ray guns.  Months passed as Bradford and his men finalized the designs of their weapons of death.  Bradford knew that only the white man should possess this power and any loose ends had to be tied up.  Squanto and the Patuxet must die.

Remembering what a good job Myles Standish had done in unknowingly tricking the Patuxet into joining the “Get To Know Ya Feast Food Celebration Banquet”, Bradford went to see him.  “Myles, would you mind going and seeing if our mud monkey neighbors would be interested in joining us for an Arts and Crafts festival that the town is holding?”  Myles, being the dumb bulb fuck-stain that he is, excepted Bradford’s request, completely unaware of the sinister underlying machinations of his task.

Myles hiked to the Patuxet camp as Bradford and his men followed at a safe distance.  He soon arrived there with a smile on his face, glad to see his new friend Squanto again.  The two men shared a platonic embrace of mutual respect and love.  “Singing White Face, what brings you camp, friend?  Me glad see me friend,” Squanto said.  Sadly, their reunion didn’t last very long.

Suddenly, Pilgrims brandishing electric ray guns entered the camp.  Unaware of the immediate danger, Squanto waved to his white neighbors.  “More friends!  Welcome me camp!  Take what wish”  Bradford, salivating with malicious glee, raised his electric musket at Squanto and said,”Don’t mind if I do!”

His finger quickly squeezed the trigger and a blast of electrical energy sparks out of the barrel of the gun, striking Squanto in the shoulder.  Myles, shocked and afraid, screams out his friend’s name as he fell.  “SQUANTO!!!  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”  But his cries of pain and betrayal fell on the deaf ears of his Pilgrim brethren as they continued their assault on the Patuxet people.  Nothing in the Pilgrims sight had safe harbor.  Not men or women or children or horses or even animal spirits.  Everything had to die.  Everything.

When the massacre was over, Bradford and his cronies, picked up the juiciest looking Indians to take back to Plymouth Rock for yet another feast.  Myles, tears streaming down his cheeks, approached Bradford.  “You used me,” said Myles.

“That’s what humans do,” responded Bradford.  “We use others for our own gain.  That’s what they were doing to us back home in Europe.  But they were the only ones gaining.  Not anymore.  We’re top of the food chain here.  And not these dirty natives.  They have sticks and bows.  We got ray guns, mother fucker!  So, get in line or join their fate.”

“You know this is wrong, William,” pleaded Myles.  “This is not why we came here!”

“Maybe it’s not why you came here.  But I did,” said Bradford.   “This is my world now.  So, whose side are you on?”

“I’m on the side of good.”

Bradford raises his weapon, “Too bad.”  But death would not be coming for Standish on this day.

Myles opened his mouth wide and belted out a long, sustained high-pitched note that rumbled the earth and shook the trees.  The note pierced the eardrums of Bradford and his men, incapacitating them, causing them to drop their weapons.  Myles continued to hold his note until the men dropped to their knees in pain, their bodies unable to process the decibel’s that were assaulting them.

“NO,” cried Bradford!  “Not like this!  Not by a god damn dingus like you!”

And with those last words, Bradford’s head exploded!  Then one by one, the other men’ heads exploded as well.  Myles, satisfied with his revenge, stopped singing the note.  Sadden by the greed of his people and the death of the Patuxet tribe, Myles fell to the ground, grieving.  “Why?  We could’ve lived together!  Co-existed equally, sharing our knowledge of the world with each other.  We could’ve been as one!  One tribe nation under God!  WHHHHYYYY?!?”

Just then he felt a cold hand on his shoulder and turned around to see the spirit of Squanto standing behind him.

“Squanto,” he asked, “is that really you?”

“Yes.”

“How is that even possible?”

“Before I move on to that big casino in the sky, I wanted to answer your question of why,” stated Squanto.

“Your English has drastically improved,” Myles remarked.

“It’s an afterlife perk.  You’ll see one day.  But let this horrible massacre be a lesson to you and your people.  Be thankful for what you have.  Or else your greed will result in mass genocide.”  And with that nugget of wisdom, Squanto disappeared.

Myles returned to the village and told them of the horrors he had just been privy too.  Afterward, the townspeople agreed to never succumb to greed.  So, the invented an annual holiday to give thanks for what they had, be it wealth or companionship.  And thus Thanksgiving was born.

THE END.

TURKEY DAY, SHMURKEY DAY

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Truth
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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and since this is a time (or excuse) for people to come together and break bread, I thought I’d share some JMT history on the subject as well as some other possible insights.  Doubtful!  BAM!!!  Take that sweet burn, me!

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee with an emphasis on how important family is.   So much so, that every Sunday, we’d  drive out to see my grandmother on my mom’s side.  Thanksgiving was no difference.  We’d drive out to my grandma’s as would my mom’s 11 brothers and sisters, numerous cousins, and the Triplett clan.  We’d be there for hours just eating and talking and playing (mostly us kids).

When I left Tennessee and moved to Chicago at 21 that all stopped.  I had no family there.  So, when it came to Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas) I was almost always alone.  I quickly got used to it as that’s just the way it was.

As the years progressed and I made my way to Los Angeles, the same thing persisted.  That is unless I was dating a girl around Turkey Day and she brought me to some shindig with her fam.  But it wasn’t the same.  These weren’t my people.  They were nice and kind, but if you asked me to remember on of their names, I would draw a blank.

However, this year has a bit of that old school feel.  I’ll be spending Eat So Much You Hate Yourself Day with Damien Hedgecoth (my best friend and constant collaborator) and having a Pie and Cocktail Soiree with the roomies on Saturday.  The important thing for me here is that I’m getting to spend a holiday that no longer has meaning to me with people who mean everrything to me.

So, put that in your peace pipe and smoke it!

As stated in the previous entry, ‘Red-Handed’ entered pre-production in March 2011 as Mel V (aka Tiny Dukes) and I were still moving ‘Horror Movies Suck’ to the finish line in post production.  The idea for this short originated in September 2010 after our first screening of ‘HMS’ (which is where we discovered that our sound mix still needed a lot of work – D’oh!).  At this point, I had been to numerous festivals and realized how many short films didn’t have enough story to support it’s running time or suffered from other various pacing issues.

‘HMS’ is was first experiment in trying to address these issues in my own work by delivering a tight yet entertaining short without losing quality of story or characters.  And whereas ‘HMS’ is more of an absurdist satire of the horror genre, ‘Red-Handed’ is the same approach but with more of a straight forward narrative.

I began pre-production with old friend and constant collaborator Damien Hedgecoth and our newly found friend and business partner Bryan Brewer.  Soon after we began pre-production, Allie Rivera, another actress and producer, joined Hydra Productions, LLC and we marched forward to June 2011, ready to get this shindig underway.

Initially, we had scheduled a two-day shoot for this film.  We were all busting ass to get everything in line for it, when 5-days before actual production, a scheduling conflict arose.  Thinking fast and burning the candle at both ends, we were able to condense the shoot into one solid day.  So, we knew that whatever we were gonna shoot had to be enough to walk away with a finished film.

There were a few major issues that occurred like the smoke alarm constantly going off negating our use of the fog machine to add 3D shards of light texture in certain shots, shooting an actor out as fast as possible so he can make a flight for his mother-in-law’s funeral, and the grill not working for our Cookout lunch for cast & crew.

But thankfully, we were blessed with so many talented and dedicated people, that even though we were fighting against the clock, that we walked away with everything we needed to finish the film.  And it was still a fun fucking shoot!  “How much fun” you ask?  See for yourself!

Linking to the previous article, I began pre-production on this short as Mel V and I were finishing post on ‘Horror Movies Suck.’  Damien Hedgecoth, who plays “Lance” in ‘HMS’, was one of the stars of this short as well as being one of the head producers in our newly forged company, Hydra Productions, LLC .  Take a look, if you dare!

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Synopsis:

Two brothers find themselves trapped by a creature of darkness in an upscale mansion after a failed attempt at stealing a valuable artifact.

The short film stars Bryan Brewer (“Infection: The Invasion Begins”), Damien Hedgecoth (“Horror Movies Suck”), Gildart Jackson (“Charmed”), and Allie Rivera (“Yoga Man”). Written, edited, and directed by JohnMark Triplett (“Horror Movies Suck” and the upcoming feature film “Dead Flesh”).

Movie:

 

Review Excerpts:

“The filming is slick, and the story involves a classic creature with some modern nuances.” – bloody-disgusting.com

“…its quick execution is pretty fun…” – horrornews.net

“Triplett has crafted a fun ,visuallly interesting horror which sticks rigidly to the genres conventions.” – Triggerstreet

“Short filmmakers should take note at how Triplett condenses plot through simple yet effective scripting and smart editing. Triplett knows what he’s doing.” – FilmThreat.com

 

First things first.  If you’re unfamilar with this project of mine, please check out the trailer below.  Context is key.  Maybe not.  But I’m pretending it is.

There’s so many stories I can tell about this project, but right now I’m just gonna focus on how it came to be and what that means to me.  So, without further adieu, here we go!

Roughly around, 3 to 4 years before this project began, I had given up on directing.  I was just tired of chasing people constantly and having these tiny productions fall apart because people couldn’t seem to hold to their commitments.

Cue Melissa Vilardo.

I meet this petite little chick on a short film shoot and we became fast friends.  We had similar work ethics and view points on how film should be handled and enjoyed a lot of the same things.  After she read some of my work, she asked me why I didn’t direct what I wrote.  I told her of some of my trials and tribulations in that area, but she wasn’t having it.  She kept bugging me(or encouraging me – depending on how you wish to look at it)  to direct something I had written.  Almost constantly.

Which is a large contributing factor into my creation of ‘Horror Movies Suck’ as a project for us to tackle.  There’s other stories as to why that came to be, but let’s focus on Tiny Dukes for now.  The very day I pitched it to her, we went into pre-production and never looked back.  It mostly went smooth until we hit the sound mix portion of post production, which grinded things to a slow, horribly crawl that we had to fight our way through.

We finally exited post almost a full year later (May 2011).  We just started submitting this past summer and are in the super early stages of touring this labor of love, concocted and executed by two friends who respect each others craft as well as the individual themselves.

Here’s a list of the festivals so far:

Accolade Competition

Honorable Mention

Online competition.  No screening.

Everybody Dies Horror Film Festival

It was their first year and there wasn’t any categories.  So, let’s pretend we won everything for everything.

Screened on Oct. 21st, 2011

MOCKFEST

Best Comedy Short –  Nominated
Best Editing (Melissa Vilardo) – WIN

Screened on Nov. 18th, 2011

SHOCKFEST

Best Director (JohnMark Triplett) –  Nominated
Best Actor (JohnMark Triplett) – Nominated
Best Shockingly Silly Short – WIN

Screened on Nov. 19th, 2011

So, that’s it so far.   A friend pushed me to return to something I love that I had tried to turn my back on.  And in doing so, it’s becoming one of my most successful projects.  All because of that fucking Vilardo character.

Thanks, Mel, you tiny bitch!

AAAAANNNNND…. WE’RE OFF!

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Introductions
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Hello, blogosphere!  Welcome to JMTrippin’!  A blog about my random thoughts on life, my trials, tribulations, and successes (or failures) in film making, and some other random shit for all none of you out there not reading this.  Hell, you probably don’t even know I exist.  Does that make me a figment of your imagination?

Yes.  Yes, it does.  Enjoy!